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Trust is more important than price in the corporate world and avoiding reputation damage is key to maintaining it. This is one of the findings of a recent study from Iron Mountain.

The study found that the majority of business leaders see customer trust (91 percent) or partner trust (88 percent) in their organization as valuable and 95 percent agree that trust is important when making a major business decision, ranking more important than price in the final decision. The findings also suggest that organizations with good information management policies and practices are more likely to be trusted than businesses without these in place.

The research, which questioned around 3,000 business leaders, highlighted several important factors that can erode trust. A high number (77 percent) said they would lose trust in an organization that had experienced a data breach, placing secure information management at the heart of maintaining trust between organizations and their customers and suppliers.

Once lost, trust and reputation can be hard to restore. The research shows that most (78 percent) business professionals believe trust can rarely or only sometimes be repaired once it has been broken, with a small number (2 percent) holding a view that broken trust can never be repaired.

Reputational considerations were important for many. The majority, for example, saw high value in positive media attention (86 percent), the strength of their organization’s brand (88 percent) and how senior leaders are perceived (89 percent). Most placed high value on protecting business-critical information such as customer records (87 percent) and intellectual property (92 percent), emphasising the importance of managing critical information securely to minimise the risks of breaches, mitigate the risk of reputational damage and maintain good relationships with suppliers and customers.

The research was undertaken for Iron Mountain by Arlington Research, the research division of Berkeley Global, which surveyed 2,993 business professionals, across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the US. Those surveyed included c-suite/ board-level executives, IT management, legal management, procurement management and supply chain management.

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